It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
Nor cell, nor chain, nor dungeon speaks to the murderer like the voice of solitude.
Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.
No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence.
I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, that can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive.
No written law has been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
On average, drug prisoners spend more time in federal prison than rapists, who often get out on early release because of the overcrowding in prison caused by the Drug War.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
We have our own system, ... and journalists in our system are not put in prison for embarrassing the government by revealing things the government might not wish to have revealed. The important thing is that our system, under which journalists can write without fear or favor, should continue.
I can tell you this on a stack of Bibles: prisons are archaic, brutal, unregenerative, overcrowded hell holes where the inmates are treated like animals with absolutely not one humane thought given to what they are going to do once they are released. You're an animal in a cage and you're treated like one.
Concepts of justice must have hands and feet to carry out justice in every case in the shortest possible time and the lowest possible cost. That is the challenge to every lawyer and judge in America.
He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender, ... And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums.
Money will determine whether the accused goes to prison or walks out of the courtroom a free man.
The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.